First things first, let me just say that jumping a border is exceptionally dangerous and not to mention downright illegal. You may find yourself staring down the end of a gun barrel. Or you may become seriously bruised and battered when border patrol tackles you to the ground. You could end up with cuts and punctures from rusty barbed wire. Or hounds hungry for blood may pursue and catch you. You may find yourself in a river full of sewage. And you could possibly be sent to jail for an indiscriminate period of time. Now if these perils and potential repercussions haven’t dissuaded you and you are like me and only learn a lesson through experience, then by all means, continue reading. But know that if you do so, you do so at your own risk. And under the pretext that I will assume no responsibility for any jail time you might receive, injury you might incur or death that could ensue.
Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, let’s get started. I am reluctant to say this, because as I said before, it is illegal and dangerous, and I can’t morally condone this course of action, but jumping a border is possible and possible with a low risk of being caught, injured or killed. Granted, much of it is depends on the border one seeks to jump, but in general, border jumping successfully is predicated upon proper preparation, physical and mental endurance, and unwavering courage. In the following guide, I will equip you with the preparatory knowledge and strategies essential to jumping a border whilst avoiding the aforementioned hazards.
The border that I will use as an example is one that marks the entry point into Europe. Since ancient times, this border has represented the ideological boundary between Christian Europe and the Islamic/Arab world. It holds a similar divide even till this day. As such, this border is one of the more heavily patrolled ones. Every year countless attempt to surmount this border to search out opportunity in Europe. While some make it across, many others do not. Interestingly, this border marks the crossroads of three countries. Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey.
The Preparation: Everything depends on you not being caught. If you are fortunate enough to have the time to premeditate your border jumping than you should do very carefully. The first step is to familiarize yourself with the geography. Even before you attempt to scout the area, aquaint yourself with the terrain through a topographic map. Google maps is also a good choice. Pay close attention to sharp changes in elevation and most importantly rivers. On most maps the physical barbed wire border is not displayed. However, since most countries have been created around the contours of natural borders such as rivers or mountains, if there is a barbed wire fence, chances are it will be located close by.
Now that you have branded the map of the border crossing into your mind, it is time to scout and experience the border crossing for yourself. Familiarize yourself with the crossing and border station, and try to decided where you will make the jump. The most ideal place to jump is somewhere quite close to the actual border crossing. While you might think that since this area is the most patrolled it would be the most risky, this is generally not the case. Since there are so many guards at the border crossing, they figure that any runaway who would want to jump the border would do so far away from the proper legal crossing. In the result, border police will usually have a tight patrol within half a kilometer of the border but less so just a little further out. And this is where you may want to make your jump. However, since all borders are different, you will have to decide for yourself.
Unfortunately for me, I did not have the time to prepare for this border as thoroughly as this. For more details on my attempt to cross this border, see “The Bulgarian Border Bonanza.” Though this is only a brief excerpt, I plan to write more about this experience in the future. So, if you are interested, subscribe above at the top right hand corner of the page or “like” my facebook page so that you don’t miss my next post. You never know when you might have to jump a border next.
The Border Jump: The key to success is to remain calm and committed. This can only be achieved if you are seriously willing to accept the risks and make the jump. Once you have come to terms with what you are about to do, try and push the fear of failure to a compartment in the back of your mind. Run fast and stay low and out of sight. If you are spotted and requested to stop at gun point, do not hesitate in your decision. If you think you can make it out of their range, push onwards. Keep running.
The most common obstacle of any border is the barbed wire fence. And at some points of the Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey border, there are two of them. When you arrive at one, don’t panic if it appears insurmountable. If you can not climb it without being cut considerably, there are two other options. The first is to slide under it. To do this, use a stick or anything you can find that is sturdy. Then prop up the lowest wire and slip under it. If the wire is too hard to manipulate, you can always pull a Jackie Chan.
In the movie Shanghai Noon, there is a scene where Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson are stuck in jail. To escape, Chan takes his shirt off and then, to increase the shirts strength, he pees on it. He then twists the shirt and ties it around two of the bars. Finally, using a broomstick, he twists the shirt and the bars begin to give way. The same technique will apply to the barb wire fence and will prove much easier than attempting to bend steel prison bars.
The second obstacle that you will be faced with is a river and there are three if you are attempting to cross this border. The first river is a 5 meter wide sewage river. If it is a moonless night, you will have trouble seeing it. And if you fall in, well, then you are going to have a pretty shity time and an even shitier time trying to scale the vertical wall of poop to get out. If you are fortunate enough to spot it before you become engulfed in Bulgarian feces, try and find a narrow section and leap over it.
The second river is truly an arduous one. It is around 30 meters wide, and depending on the season, has an exceedingly fast current. The only way to overcome this river is to dive in and swim as though your life depended on it. Which it does. Hopefully the arms of a fallen tree will catch you and you will be able to pull your self to the shore. At least now, if you fell in the river de poop, you are somewhat clean. The third and final river is just as wide as the last and with an equally fast current. However, this river is only knee deep. So definitely don’t dive in unless your interested in a mouth full of silt to wash away your poopy after taste. You have now ran at least 5 kilometers from the border, a relatively safe distance. Now’s the time to relax, curl over, and vomit.
On The South Side Of The Border: Once you have finished puking and have gained a little of your strength back, make your way into the Greek country side. There you will find tranquil and rolling hills dotted with farms. Try and find watermelon or grapes to help you rehydrate and regain some energy. If you are thoroughly exhausted, try and find a safe and concealed place to rest. When you awake, it is a good idea to wait until sunset before you begin to travel. If your clothing and body is bloodied and torn up with holes and scratches, do not attempt to hitchhike and most importantly stay away from people. If you are spotted this close to the border, it will be obvious to them that you have just jumped the border and they will attempt to detain you and call the police. So just keep moving as far away from the border as you can and stay away from everyone. Though it will be tough, stay positive and keep moving. The rest is up to you.
Although jumping a border is extremely dangerous and risky, it can be done. To improve your chances of success, make sure you carefully prepare both mentally and physically. Remember to stay calm and committed. Finally, once you have crossed the border, keep moving away from it. All in all, you really need to decide whether jumping the border is worth the risk. If it is, then you should think it over once again. If it still is, the former guide will hopefully be of some use. Good luck and safe travels.